Sunday, 18 June 2017

Pendon's Passionate Progenitor (2)

A Vision Fulfilled : An Obsession Observed
Roye England's aim was to create a perfect replica of the lifestyle of the Vale of the White Horse including its railway. Whereas modern modellers tend to focus on the trains or even the locomotives, Roye wanted a complete setting in which trains were but a fleeting part of everyday life.

Nevertheless, the train models at Pendon Museum are exquisite and fearfully accurate ...
... as is the one GWR bus that ambles around in the mind's eye.
But to really understand his passion, you must turn to the buildings. It is possible to identify the real-life locations which are faithfully copied on the model. Here are just a few to make the point. The angles of view may be different and the surroundings may have changed, but the likeness is stunning.

East Hendred School, now a community hall.

Cottages at Bradbury, most of the block is gone, but the renovated central property still has the quaint porch.
Roye has included himself in this model, complete with bicycle and notebook as he surveys the group.

Pound Farm Goosey, almost unchanged over the years!

The Old Vicarage Steventon, just a lick of paint and a few cars provides the modern view.

Carpenters Arms South Marston, still serving a good pint today!
Even with these comparisons, it is not easily possible to comprehend the team's modelling standards. Let's consider an fbb model, his pride and joy, currently under restoration and rebuild after an attack by killer hail stones. Here is a window in the carriage shed.
Look at the great fissures around the window frame and below where fbb has failed to match up the stone courses; there is no guttering (the stuff is in the bits box waiting for action); there's a huge gap where the model doesn't sit properly on the baseboard; the bars of the window are far too thick and it is made of plastic. The green mould on the lower courses is genuine - it is green mould!

If such an appalling piece of modelling were to be presented to Pendon, its resting place would be immediate and peremptory.
A Pendon model would require each stone to be individually positioned! In some models even the interiors are perfectly formed.
And remember, the actual size of these "rooms" is a cube with sides of about 1½ inches!
Here is the day's milk being delivered to the railway good yard (note the open uncluttered space!) ...
... followed by the milk lorry in close-up!
Do not be deceived, dear reader, that is an OO scale model complete with hand made milk churns. Here are model milk churns that you can buy today.
It is enough to make fbb take a fire axe to his layout and live the rest of his life in the cupboard under the stairs!

And here is a group of people at the Museum entrance.
Oh, sorry! They are real. And why is this young gal having her hair trimmed?
Answer : human hair is just about the right thickness for scale thatch!
Roye England and his chums needed a lot of thatch.

Pendon's web site is (here)

But you can own one of Roye England's models; more correctly a model of one of Roye Englands models. A while ago Bachmann Scencraft created a range of Pendon models, some of which appear on the second-hand market from time to time; some retailers still have new models on sale.

So scour the interwebnet or your local model shop and you might be able to lay your hands on your very own model of the former Calley Ams, now the Waggon and Horses.
About £50. A reminder of the Pendon version.

 Next Parlous Publicity blog : Monday 19th June 

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